Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent Rich Isaacson confirms this week’s second raid on a medical marijuana distribution center in southeastern Michigan.
Bazonzoes, located on West Maple Rd in Walled Lake, was served a state-issued search warrant by DEA Agents in association with local law enforcement on August 1. Isaacson refused to provide additional details, stating the DEA “does not comment on ongoing investigations.” He would neither confirm nor deny any relationship between this raid and the search warrant served on July 30.
On that date, Ypsilanti’s The Shop was the target of a similar state-issued warrant. Vehicles were towed away from that location and merchandise was seized. Seizures of boxes, and bags containing marijuana, were also reported by local news agencies. Ypsilanti licenses and regulates six medical marijuana distribution centers and at least one commercial garden. Recent efforts by some Council members to cap the number of facilities at six will culminate in a vote on a proposed ordinance, the second and final reading of which takes place on Thursday the 8th at 7pm.
The Shop will have a hearing on whether to revoke their city-issued license on that same day, Thursday at 9am, Ypsilanti City Hall. The Shop stands accused of smoking and/or using marijuana on the premises based on evidence gathered at the time of the raid. A letter obtained by The Compassion Chronicles shows that city officials Teresa Gillotti and Frank Daniels were present at the time of the raid and witnessed the evidence firsthand. That violates Ypsilanti ordinance law; City Attorney John Barr has requested the revocation of the medical marijuana business license.
Bazonzoes was previously raided in December of 2011. Five pounds of marijuana, two pounds of baked goods and “lip stick containing marijuana” were seized at that time, according to the Oakland Press. Four arrests were made. That raid was conducted by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Enforcement Team following a two week investigation.
In April of 2011 federal agents raided Caregivers of America in Walled Lake. As reported by WWJ Newsradio at the time, Oakland County officials made statements about the nature of distribution centers in Michigan.
Oakland County prosecutor Jessica Cooper said she wants to end confusion surrounding the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Cooper said under the law, marijuana dispensaries of any kind are illegal in Michigan.
However, attorney Neil Rockind, who represents medical marijuana patients, said that’s absolutely not true.
“It’s very simple. Voters wanted patients to have access to marijuana for medical purposes. That’s the spirit and intent behind the law. And the law doesn’t prohibit dispensaries,” Rockind said.
There was no official word as to why federal agencies would be executing state-issued search warrants instead of having them executed by their respective county Sheriff’s Departments, but speculation abounds that it is a strategy to make court cases more difficult to defend.